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Our farms – University of Reading

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  • Find out more about Reading's extensive farmland

Our farms

We have considerable land–based resources in the Reading area, with 800 hectares of mixed farming lands and woodlands spread throughout the surrounding areas at Arborfield, Shinfield and Sonning.

In addition to the School's substantial teaching and research resources in crops at Sonning and animals at Arborfield, our farms represent a significant commercial farming operation.


Our 580-hectare site at Shinfield is home to 550 Holstein dairy cows. The commercial herd is group fed and averages more than 10,000 litres of milk per cow per annum at 4% butterfat and 3.2% protein. Cows are milked through a 50-point rotary parlour.

The location is shared with the Centre for Dairy Research (CEDAR), a modern research facility that can accommodate up to 200 cows fed individually for applied research projects, and also provides specialist facilities for strategic studies with smaller groups of animals. Current research themes include sustainable dairy cow nutrition, milk composition, and environmental impacts of milk and meat production.

The Shinfield farm also includes:

  • 180 hectares of grazing and silage leys
  • 130 hectares of maize
  • 90 hectares of combinable crops
  • 110 hectares of permanent pasture
  • 60 hectares of woodland and scrub
  • 10 hectares of voluntary set-aside
  • 22 hectares of natural wildflower meadows (Langley Mead), which are open to the public.


Our 180-hectare Sonning farm is home to our 12-hectare Crop Research Unit and our 360 dairy youngstock. We rear young stock and beef calves; these dairy replacements are the progeny of high-genetic merit Holstein sires and are return to Shinfield to calve at two years.

The Sonning farm also includes:

  • 60 hectares of combinable crops
  • 20 hectares of maize
  • 75 hectares of grazing leys
  • 13 hectares of woodland and scrub.


For more information, please contact:

Farm Manager James Lamburn

+44 (0) 118 976 1722


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